The last five months have been fun, hard, enlightening, challenging and rewarding. I’m still caught by surprise at how much I have to learn about raising kids and living in this advanced age of instant information. I figure I’m good for it, or I wouldn’t be in it, but I have had moments of despair and fear.
Thank goodness they don’t last too long!
So here’s an update:
Both Sam and Tori are back in school. Sam is a ninth grader, Tori a sixth grader. Sam is in the STEM program at his high school, which means he had to sign an agreement to work hard and not drop any classes. Tori got some tutoring in math over the summer and has started out with good math grades so far. We are still reviewing multiplication tables, and it looks like she has them down finally. It really brings home the fact that if the child doesn’t learn something at the appropriate age, it will come back to haunt her! Fingers crossed she keeps it up!
I am alternately sane and calm, then semi-frantic when I feel like it is all too overwhelming. I went through another rough patch with Wade where I just wasn’t sure we could manage this and stay together. Maybe I will feel that way again, but it seems to have subsided.
We are both really trying to be nice to each other. I don’t mean that in a negative way. It actually is paying off. I am learning to truly accept him for the way he is, which keeps leading me to feeling grateful for the things he does. When I allow myself to feel resentment, for whatever he doesn’t do that I wish he would do, then I get into trouble.
One of the best things I did was let go of expecting him to do anything–so when he does help out with dinner or go pick up the kids–whatever–then I am really glad and can appreciate it. It was just too much negative energy for me to count the things I didn’t like. Letting got of that was a big relief.
We have continued with therapy. Our counselor, who is with the Momentous Institute (originally The Salesmanship Club), is phenomenal. The kids trust her and have no problem talking about whatever is on their minds. We often just sit together, with our therapist, and talk out how we are working through some of the things we don’t agree on.
I’ve been on a campaign to get Sam to quit watching PG-13 movies with Tori that are super violent and gory. She thinks that she can handle them. I’m past caring what she thinks about it. She’s almost 12, but she still has bad dreams and I can feel she still has confusion and anger over her dad’s death. One really good thing about Sam is that he thinks things over and is open to ideas.
They grew up watching that kind of stuff with their dad, so think they are immune to the negative energy spewed out on the screen. My feeling is that she is at a very vulnerable time in her life and needs to feel safe. I know she is a very strong girl, and has amazing coping skills. But she needs time to heal from the tragedy of finding her dad. I might be projecting, but I feel the undercurrents of all that violence aren’t the right things for her to be experiencing at this moment in her life.
The battle seems to be resolving itself, as Sam has decided to stop watching those shows with her in the room. I am so grateful that he is thoughtful and willing to collaborate, as opposed to taking a stand against us. We will revisit the subject when she is a little older, and a lot more settled, I hope!
So the good news is that we are working things out. The kids are doing well, staying healthy and happy–and we are having relaxed family dinners, laughing and talking, then the kids jump up and help with the dishes. Quite a change from 7 months ago!
Time heals, and we all keep learning. What a blessing!